bank rates

6-Month CD Rates Roundup: Top National Deal Pays 1.36%, Local Pays 1.49%

A single bank, Virtual Bank, leads all competitors. It’s paying 1.36% APY on nationally available 6-month certificates.

But First Internet Bank of Indiana is close behind, paying 1.32% APY.

As always, shopping locally may earn you more from a credit union or community bank. We know of at least one local deal that’s out-paying the national leader, offering 1.49% APY.

The top national yields

The top 6-month CD rates have inched up around a quarter of a percentage point since this time last year, when the most you could have earned was around 1.05% APY.

Now you’ll find six banks are offering rates of 1.20% APY or above.

Still, we’d love to see these short-term rates move up even more.

While we’re waiting to see better rates, the deal from Virtual Bank is worth a look. But it’s charging a minimum of $10,000 to earn the top rate.

If you can’t swing the minimum from Virtual Bank, consider First Bank of Indiana, which requires a minimum of only $1,000 to earn 1.32% APY.

Top National 6-month CDs

Bank Yield Minimum Deposit
Virtual Bank 1.36% $10,000
First Internet Bank of Indiana 1.32% $1,000
M.Y. Safra Bank 1.26% $5,000
Live Oak Bank 1.25% $2,500
Pacific National Bank 1.25% $1,000
Nationwide Bank 1.20% $500

Before locking into any certificate of deposit, it’s always prudent to search Bankrate’s extensive database of the best CD rates to make sure you’re getting your absolute best deal of the day.

Earn more with local deals

As our readers know, the very best rates in the country are usually from a community bank or a credit union requiring CD buyers to jump through a hoop or two.

For a 6-month term, we’re currently aware of at least one offer that bests Virtual Bank, although restrictions on who may open them are somewhat limiting.

Top Local 6-Month CD Rates

Bank State APY Min Deposit
Peoples Transport Federal Credit Union New Jersey 1.49% $500
LOMTO Federal Credit Union New York 1.10% $2,000
Telco Credit Union North Carolina 1.01% $1,000

Waiting on the Fed

All of these deals are far better than what you’ll find at most banks, where the national 6-month average remains a pitiful 0.16% APY.

That’s a trivial gain from the record-low 0.14% APY we saw in June 2014.

Rewind to February 2007 and the national average return was 3.50% APY – a reasonable rate of return by most historical standards.

The huge disparity between then and now comes from the Fed’s decision to stem the economy’s bleeding by pushing short-term interest rates to record lows during the 2008 financial crisis – and tethering them there.

That chilly seven-year period finally concluded in December, when the Fed’s rate-setting committee launched what was then forecasted to be a series of small, gradual hikes over the next several years.

So when can we expect another boost?

We may see one at the Fed’s next meeting.

Until then, the most we can do is shop wisely and hope to see higher rates soon.

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